Pro-Life Homily – Fr. Geoff Kerslake

Pro-Life Homily – Fr. Geoff Kerslake 
Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 18, 2014

Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Do we really believe Jesus when he says this?

Contemporary society doesn’t believe Jesus. It thinks he was just a good man – someone with a strong social justice message who suffered fatal consequences for rocking the boat.

But if we take Jesus’ own words seriously – and isn’t that what Christians are supposed to do? – then, we know differently.

Jesus is THE way, THE Truth and THE Life – not a way, or one way among many other options.

The recent messages of the Holy Father Pope Francis emphasize this message – we are called to share with the world that Jesus is the way, truth and life. He suffered and died for my sins, your sins, all of our sins, so that we might be forgiven and reconciled with God. And Jesus wants to walk with us in the course of our daily life, accompanying us in our joys and sorrows.

Society tries to tell us that Christianity is just one value system among many others – that there is a competitive market for religious believers and Catholicism is merely one product sharing shelf space with many others. That’s not the Gospel Message and that’s not the message of the Church that must remain faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We heard at the Second Vatican Council that other religions have some elements of the truth within them – the Council spoke of ‘rays of the truth’ – but only the Catholic Church has the fullness of revelation, the whole truth. We don’t look down on other faiths, but we recognize that we have all that God wants us to know, not just some pieces or aspects.

Because we have the fullness of truth, we must share it with others. When you know what will make others ultimately happy, what gives meaning to this life, and the hope of eternal life to come, why wouldn’t we share it?

When something wonderful happens, like a promotion in our job or a good grade at school, or the joy of announcing a pregnancy, we are eager to share that good news. Why would we keep the Good News of Jesus Christ to ourselves? Don’t we want our friends to be happy? Don’t we want our friends to get to heaven? Indeed, don’t we want everyone to have the chance at happiness and heaven?

Because we love the Lord and we want our neighbour to be happy, we must share the Gospel in its fullness: that’s what being a disciple of Jesus Christ means.

When someone wonders what God looks like or how He behaves, we know we have only to look to Christ: “whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” What is God like? Look at Christ because he is the fullest expression of the Father’s love. How do we become more like God? Become more like Christ, which we can do with the help of God’s grace and our cooperation as we try and live the fullness of the Gospel.

But the Gospel has a moral dimension as well as a spiritual one to it. As Christians, we must proclaim the Gospel and live by its values, calling our brothers and sisters to share in the truth, beauty and goodness of Christ and his message. How we do that is important too. Pope Francis in his encyclical wrote: “rather than experts in dire predictions, dour judges bent on rooting out every threat and deviation, we should appear as joyful messengers of challenging proposals, guardians of the goodness and beauty which shine forth in a life of fidelity to the Gospel” (n. 168).

Recently Justin Trudeau, a prominent Catholic politician and role model for youth, pronounced that you had to be pro-choice to run as a member of the Liberal Party. Doing so, he undermined the principles of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. In fact, he attacked democracy itself by not allowing Members of Parliament to represent the views of their constituents.

As a Catholic Christian, he made an erroneous statement that, in fraternal charity and fidelity to the Gospel message, must be addressed. He appears to believe that someone could be a devout Catholic Christian and be pro-choice, disregarding the value of the human life developing within the womb. Like other politicians he seems to think that being pro-choice is about respecting people’s rights – but the essential, foundational right, that is the right to life, is being denied to the most defenceless and vulnerable members of our society – children in the womb.

Our archbishop responded to this grave situation in a statement issued to parishes and other Catholic agencies. He wrote in part: “the position of the Catholic Church in favour of life at all stages is clear and unchanging. A person who takes a position in contradiction to the teaching of the Catholic Church on the value and dignity of human life from the moment of conception to the moment of a natural death, and persists in this belief, is not in communion with the Church’s values and teaching, which we believe faithfully transmit for today the teachings of Christ.”

The archbishop went on to quote Pope Francis’ recent remarks in his encyclical: the “defence of unborn life is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems. Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defense of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be.”

Being pro-life is not only something only for Catholics, it is a rational and logical position for everyone. Once we decide as a society that some human lives are not sacred, are not valuable or worthwhile, not worth protection, we have undermined the value and sanctity of all human life: human life becomes another, just another, commodity whose worth depends on someone else’s evaluation of its utility, convenience or worth. The horrors of the 20th century – the Holocaust, the purges of the Khmer Rouge, Stalin’s pogroms, the genocides in Rwanda and elsewhere – fundamentally were all a result of regimes denying the right to life to those they considered ‘not worthy’ of life or ‘not human.’

Today, in Canada, there is no legal restriction on abortions. There is no law – you can have an abortion at any time in the pregnancy right up to the moment of birth: we have no law in Canada at all, no restrictions at all despite the fact that a majority of Canadians agree that we should have at least some restrictions, as do most other countries. Many people don’t know this – they assume there must be some restriction, but there aren’t any restrictions. And now, it is even harder just to talk about this terrifying disregard of the worth of human life.

How can we have a just society if we cannot even discuss difficult questions? If we cannot have our views represented by our elected representatives?

No politician, regardless of the fervor of his or her personal faith, has the power, the authority or the right to tell Catholics they can be pro-abortion and be considered ‘in good standing’ with the Church. Like the Holy Father, I am not judging anyone’s personal relationship with the Lord, or presuming to judge his or her conscience. I am merely pointing out the obvious – no political leader can tell us that we can put aside the teachings of our faith and consider ourselves ‘in good standing’ with the Church’s fidelity to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

To be Catholic is to be someone who knows Christ and who follows him, regardless of popular opinion or expediency, because Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life” who shows us in his person and teaching the Father and his love for all of humanity, and indeed all of God’s creation.

And let us take comfort in Jesus’ words to his disciples, words that he speaks to us today as well: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me” because Jesus is “the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Let us pray for our politicians and all who lead us so that we may all enjoy the right to freedom of conscience, freedom of religion and especially the most foundational right, the right to life.

May God bless you.

Father Geoff Kerslake

A homily delivered at the 7:30 pm mass at the Cathedral, Notre Dame Basilica, in the Archdiocese of Ottawa.

3 thoughts on “Pro-Life Homily – Fr. Geoff Kerslake

  1. 28 MAY 2014

    From the Heresy Hunter and Thank Heavens Truth…Sorry to burst the bubble of those who might term me “extreme or overbearing, even” with a dose what is really Truth with some Reality…I might even, for the umpteenth time be termed “judgemental “or Heaven help me”negative” by those who are willingly out of whatever reason ,refusing to acknowledge it, and thus are contributing to the sinking of of their own spirits and darkening their souls with “so called enlightenment”, regarding The Catholic Teaching on Doctrine in Matters of Faith and Morals _which are according to Jesus are NOT to Be Changed . In other words the exact opposite of what Vatican 11 did. Vatican 11’s part in the hijacking and ruin of the Catholic Church is not some “dark prediction form those “dour” types ” that he alludes to as is always the case these days from those who are really not so “nice” about some people namely those they ignore, or term “rad-trads” or some other derogatory term, that they are not even subtle
    about, at all, if they ever really were…don’t think so. No anyone who sees the Truth and refuses to tow this party line is ostracized and called all kinds of names… as well as hated by those who claim that “luv’ and joy” are where its at, and constantly quote form V11 etc. etc.
    No problem Jesus, Joseph and Mary were olt welcome by these people either and hated as well, by many. I can almost hear the applause as he is praised for this by the modernism crowd , who if one defers because they know something these blind or not so blind followers don’ they get very angry and are not so nice.
    It is just that He actually believe in following what Jesus and true Catholic teaching has taught from the beginning it is not rocket science, so God has graced him with the ability to tell it like it is and be forthright not phoney and an enemy of the Church.
    THANK YOU TH2, Thank you , thank you , thank you.!! There are so few like you who speak clear unadulterated Truth, with no pretense or concern about who will “like” you or the Truth you say. You say it because it is, and that is good enough for Jesus. Please, please please keep it up . There is getting to be a drought of this breat, no wind of fresh air on blogs, you are sorely needed to be present on the Internet Blogs as more and more are drinking the very koool-aid they spoke of others drinking the one of great compromise, or maybe they were not really serious about just what side of the fence they were sitting on to begin with.
    Lord Have Mercy , Thank you Jesus, Joseph and Mary.

    Heresy Hunter on:
    SOME THOUGHTS ON THE CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS IN THE CHURCH

    I. (BELATED) HAPPY CLAPPY NEW YEAR. It’s safe to conclude that Anno Domini 2013 was an Annus Terribilis for the Catholic Church. We are now well into 2014, the vexing Bergoglio papacy continues with its parade of perplexities, gallivanting along its Peronist path, and the secular world is still rejoicing. “Person of the Year”, said TIME magazine last year. Esquire named Pope Francis Best Dressed Man of 2013. The Holy Father made the covers of Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and LIFE magazines – all in dignified, positively portrayed cover presentations, quite unlike various magazine covers for Pope Benedict. This rejoicing is happening on the outside. On the inside, our Neo-Catholic friends, seemingly inspirited by a kind of irrational exuberance, are performing every imaginable feat to rationalize the non-stop stream of Francis’, shall we diplomatically say, unCatholic pronouncements and gestures. Really, it’s just a continuing rearrangement of deck chairs on their sinking vessel, the SS Cognitive Dissonance. Captained by a certain someone stubbornly unwilling to accept the end of the Wojtyla period and its attending superstadium glories; also unwilling to acknowledge the failed Protestant experiment of Deistic Democracy and its French (Revolution) Connection. Full steam ahead! Disregard that iceberg. The normally stormy waters of the North Atlantic are presently calm. It’s a clear and starry night. A recent dispatch from bizarroland comes from Dr. Zmirak. Ruminate on this Americanism-inspired jaw dropper:
    We ought to be deeply thankful for the heritage of the Enlightenment – because the American anti-Catholics of the 19th and 20th century were dead right about one thing: Catholicism minus the Enlightenment equals the Inquisition.[1]
    Merci beaucoup, Fr. Courtney Murray. Your legacy continues.

    II. As for the more endarkened Modernists, “Pope Frankie” has – minus media spin – affirmed their cherished assortment of heresies, now perfectly synthesized, thus emboldening them. It’s as if they are in a time warp to the era of muscle cars and lime green leisure suits, gleefully firing up spliffs, inhaling deeply, Pong and mood rings and pet rocks, boogying under light-shimmering disco balls, from San Francisco to Berlin to Wagga Wagga, partying like its 1789, not 1978. A last hurrah before Mr. G. Reaper comes a knocking? Excitement, giddiness, joie de vivre, grandiosity, utopian anticipations, frenetic hedonism, distractions of every kind, sport and recreation as religion fillers, always are at their utmost intensities when upheaval is proximate. That is, at a civilization’s twilight, just before God ordains a specific, world-altering judgement upon humanity. To analogize, think of the debauched cultural atmosphere during the Weimar Republic and what followed. But who is God to judge? Sounds like Self-Absorbed Promethean Neo-Pelagianism to me. Hey, don’t get mad at me for saying this stuff. Regular readers should know by now that I’m just a “querulous and disillusioned pessimist”, a “sourpuss”.[2]

    III. STORM ON THE HORIZON. Pope Benedict tried to apply the brakes, but it’s too late. Attachment to Vatican II tenets is evidently too robust, otherwise Modernism in the Church might have been counteracted to a larger extent. The “hermeneutic of continuity” balancing act, admirable in intention, has produced no fruit, it has failed. Opposing Modernist forces are seemingly too resilient. Praxis has overtaken doctrine. The exact reason for his abdication still remains a mystery, now more so compounded in that respected Italian journalist Antonio Socci is throwing out the plausibility of a canonical invalidity in the abdication.[3] Causing further presentiment is that our emeritus pope, who still dresses in white, has “come out of retirement”.[4] Regardless, the Revolution is back on track. It would not be unreasonable to suppose God decreed Benedict’s short-run papacy partly to deprogram scores of Catholics previously under the Neo-Cat spellcast, by introducing them to heretofore straight-jacketed Traditional Catholics (i.e. Catholics), their convincing criticisms of Vatican II ambiguities, including the plight of the SSPX. Relatedly, and more crucially, to liberate the Mass of All Ages (via Summorum Pontificum) from its unjustified, decadal abrogation by the contemporary plague of soft-spoken bishops, yet who are hard and fast when it comes to the suppression of it. The actual degree of the TLM liberation is now an open question given Benedict’s abdication and Francis’ lately commenced offensive against the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. So, presently the crisis in affaires catholiques has escalated, gone cosmic, I contend. The Catholic Church has been deconstructed to an unprecedented nadir. Given the vast populace of apostate bishops, matters are arguably worse than the Arian crisis of the Fourth Century. At the same time, all of this is mysterious, mesmerizing to the distant, uninvolved onlooker, who is effectively helpless to ameliorate, save recourse to the Two Hearts, Sacred and Immaculate.

    IV. Presently, this subject too overwhelming for this blogger to broach in detail. In the meantime, readers are directed to a superb article on Pope Francis by Christopher Ferrara. I concur with the following declaration therein:
    …this circus has gone far enough. I hereby exercise my God-given right to protest the Pope’s abuse of his office, which reopens wounds that were slowly healing – thanks to Pope Benedict – reignites the very divisions Francis professes to deplore… and degrades the Church’s image, to the world’s delight, with the spectacle of a Pope publicly hectoring and humiliating his own sheep for nothing more than their fidelity to Tradition.[5]
    This blogger will now formally confess that, since March 13, 2013, nearly every word and act of Pope Francis since that date has left me alienated, again speaking diplomatically. As I see it, the Bishop of Rome is a material Modernist. The barrage of pot shots and innuendos, not only a disturbing sign in itself, have become so commonplace that one blogger has compiled “The Pope Francis Little Book of Insults”. Not annoyed anymore, I’m just bored with that gallery of Catholic media types defending or embellishing any one of Francis’ deprecations and “off the cuff” remarks. Pray for the pope, surely we must, fidelity to him there is, inclusion of him in your Rosary goes without saying. But I also deem him to be an instrument of God’s punishment. I also believe an unspoken, inward knowingness is developing amongst The Remnant – now in a state of exhausted vigilance – informing them that, before the Restoration comes – and it will come, a temporary withdrawal of sorts is necessary. To hunker down, to take refuge in little, discreet enclaves (i.e. “creative minorities”). That is, to fortify in whatever way, preparing to engage mainly in localized battles, readying for the imminent storm of persecution. Not just from Mohammedan berserkers and the constantly encroaching tentacles of the democratic/totalitarian State. Also, from cooperative and compliant enemies inside the Church and its numerous institutions, clerical and lay. Particularly, those smiley face types, with their incessant denials of the obvious, tolerations of manifest evils, sins of omission, lukewarmness, cowardice, tepidity, perfidies, careerism, moneyed interests, administrative preoccupations, celebrity seeking, debonair heresy advancement – all of these interconnected, a gigantic hypnotic swirl, forming the “silent apostasy”.[6]

    “Bravo!”, said the Cardinal.
    St. John Eudes:
    The most evident mark of God’s anger, and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world, is manifest when He permits His people to fall into the hands of a clergy who are more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than the charity and affection of devoted shepherds. They abandon the things of God to devote themselves to the things of the world and, in their saintly calling of holiness, they spend their time in profane and worldly pursuits. When God permits such things, it is a very positive proof that He is thoroughly angry with His people and is visiting His most dreadful wrath upon them.
    V. It’s quite a mess, unmanageable at a purely human level. Resolution can only arrive via divine intervention under the light and leadership of Our Lady. There is no other way from escaping this downslide to all-out Nihilistic Paganism. This is not meant to preclude works from prayer and continual interior conversion, otherwise we become Protestants. The withdrawal mentioned above means not appeasement nor hibernation nor Quietism. Rome-focussed observation and analysis of Vatican/Curial machinations are still necessary. But given the present pope’s fixation for placating the Spirit of the World – let alone his humility flaunting, the romanticization of the gutter, plus a noticeable thrill at having international celebrity status, with nods of approval coming from Planned Parenthood to Barry Obama, even with conciliatory messages from the Freemasons – nothing is going to change at the Vatican until the current pontificate ends. That is, assuming the Holy Spirit doesn’t give the Bishop of Rome a wake-up call. Some reminders: Francis considers those who pray many Rosaries for him as numeromaniacs; pro-lifers must not be “obsessed” with abortion; the Latin Mass is a “fashion” to which one should not be “addicted”, and the latest being a grovelling before a priest notorious for his pro-homosexual activism[7] – all these playing right into the hands of the enemies of the Church, those without and within. Subsequent exercises at damage control in certain American quarters have been laughable (hello Jimmy). Moreover, I am flummoxed that many have succumbed to this ridiculous, increasingly popularized notion that the Holy Father is pushing us beyond our “comfort zones”? What precisely does that mean? For goodness sake, to be a devout Catholic, or to endeavour to be so, is as such to think, speak and act outside one’s “comfort zone” as anchored in Original Sin. This has been the situation for two-thousand years. It’s called Catholicism.

    VI. FRANCIS AUTOCEPHALOUS. So, then, the withdrawal means, rather, more of a critical focus on heretics/apostates conspiring in national/regional domains. This is stated because the Vatican II aspiration of “Collegiality” (i.e. “decentralization”, democracy) as preponderant in Church governance is rapidly trending toward actualization already in the preliminary stages of Francis’ pontificate. His Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium is the clarion call [my emphasis]:
    The papacy and the central structures of the universal Church also need to hear the call to pastoral conversion… juridical status of episcopal conferences which would see them as subjects of specific attributions, including genuine doctrinal authority, has not yet been sufficiently elaborated.[8]
    What this translates to is a delegation of more power/authority to national bishop’s conferences. Meaning, an attempted formalization of “Collegiality”. This is not just vacuous “big talk” typified by whomever Latin American dictator from whatever banana republic. This is a clearly enunciated goal by Christ’s representative on Earth. Travelling back in time to 1871 at Vatican I, a dogmatic Council, we read:
    For the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter, that by His revelation they might make known new doctrine, but that by His assistance they might inviolably keep and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith delivered through the Apostles.[9]
    An intention to bestow “juridical status… genuine doctrinal authority” to episcopal conferences is, then, at least, a very suspicious challenge to the Magisterium. More recently, in the mid-1980s, then Cardinal Ratzinger pinpointed the crux of this matter: “We must not forget that the episcopal conferences have no theological basis, they do not belong to the structure of the Church, as willed by Christ, that cannot be eliminated”.[10]

    VII. Episcopal Conferences in the West have been at the forefront of decimating the Faith over the last five decades. This was not much known pre-2000, given that Modernist-dominating publishers and chancery-run diocesan newspapers were managing the valve of information flow. It’s been 50 years of duplicitous editors filtering out the seamy artifices of the neo-Arians who presently “control the buildings”. Today, pick up any one of these sheets and, if disregarding regularized, nonchalant endorsements of heretics – and so subtly I might add, you mainly read fluff, innocuousness, about self-congratulatory careerist award presentations, about Nu-Church vacuities, about aimless and unproductive “interreligious dialogue”, nothing. Today, however, nefarious deeds committed by enemies well entrenched within the Catholic Church are less hidden, becoming common knowledge to that shunned community of enquiring minds. Thanks going to reporters from independently-operated news websites and researchers/investigators in unapproved Catholic media, having no affiliation with, or sanction from, the Establishment Church.

    VIII. MAGIC CIRCLE REDUX. In Canada, any probative Catholic with just minimal internet savvy quickly comes to a realization of the incestuous relationship existent between members of CanChurch. Be it the heretical Nu-Church tracts disseminated by Novalis Publishers, or be it the neo-Modernist wolf heading up the Salt+Light Media Foundation, or be it the self-aggrandizing salesmen columnists at the Catholic Register; or be it so-called “orthodox” bishops cavorting with Modernist theologians from supposedly Catholic universities, or mingling with supposedly Catholic school trustees who’ve got the hots for pro-abort Justin Trudeau, or this…

    I’m okay, you’re okay – wink wink, nudge nudge.

    …Toronto’s Cardinal-Archbishop blessing a defiant lesbian Premier, publicly affirming her anti-Catholic machinations.[11] I am God’s good servant, but Kathleen’s first. Yes, all these people know one another, interact with one another, cite one another, defend one another, even when their manifest errors are identified by outsiders who, unfortunately, are unprivileged to swing with the hotshots at the Casbah. And don’t be fooled as to whether they have personas or reputations for being “conservative” or “liberal”. No difference when it comes down to the crunch of pay cheques, speaking engagements, TV appearances, gala invites, “pastoral plan” involvement, shout-outs and – note well – remaining silent on, or actively concealing, corruption in the Church, therefore facilitating it. The same names keeping popping up, the money keeps circulating back and forth between them, that torpor-inducing stream of “pastoral plans” keeps on flowing and, when annual transfer time comes around, good orthodox priests – who are a tad too traditional and effectual for the luvvies downtown – are exiled to the hinterlands. As always, Joe Pewsitter, making a concerted effort to live the Faith authentically, is all the while wondering what is really going on inside CanChurch. The nexus of this backslapping game show, as previously featured in my post Ominous Signs, is the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops – a menagerie of personages and agendas with a penchant for spitting in the face of Jesus Christ.

    There is still much housecleaning to do nationally, even in relatively unimportant Catholic Canada. So, this blog continues…

    NOTES / REFERENCES

    1. J. Zmirak, “Illiberal Catholicism”, Aleteia, December 31, 2013.

    2. Evangelii Gaudium, ch. 2, sec. II, para. 85.

    3. C.A. Ferrara, “Latest from Socci: The Papal Games”, The Remnant, February 18, 2014.

    4. E. Tanquintic-Misa, “Benedict XVI Will Come Out of Retirement and Rejoin Church Life – Pope Francis”, International Business Times, March 6, 2014.

    5. C.A. Ferrara, “Quo Vadis, Francisce?”, The Remnant, December 16, 2013.

    6. Pope John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Ecclesia In Europa, 1, I, 9.

    7. H. White, “Pope kisses the hand of, concelebrates mass with pro-homosexual activist priest”, LifeSite News, May 23, 2014.

    8. Evangelii Gaudium, ch. 1, sec. II, para. 32. Cf. A. Tornielli, “Francis decentralizes the Church: More power to Bishops’ Conferences”, La Stampa, November 25, 2013.

    9. First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, ch. 4, para. 6. Session 4, July 18, 1870.

    10. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger with Vittorio Messori, The Ratzinger Report, An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1985), p. 59.

    11. M. Swan, “Collins reminds MPPs of Catholic schools’ ‘gift’ to Ontario”, Catholic Register, April 2, 2014.

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    Posted by TH2 at 12:32 AM 8 Comments
    Labels: auto-demolition of the Catholic Church, CanChurch, Modernism, Pope Francis, Vatican II

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